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Graduate School of Science E N V I R O N M E N T F O R TA L E N T

Leiden University. The university to discover.


Sjoerd Verduyn Lunel Dean of the Graduate School of Science

Welcome! The Leiden Graduate School of Science is an exciting place for students, faculty members and researchers. Leiden has a century-old tradition in cutting edge education and research in mathematics, physics and biological sciences. We are committed to provide meaningful, rigorous and quality graduate experiences in a personalized environment. Our faculty members are inspired by the fundamental fascination with the unknown, the smallest particle, the youngest planet, the oldest galaxy, but at the same time, together with students, they collaborate in interdisciplinary teams with counterparts from the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), the Graduate School of Social Sciences and Delft University of Technology. Our location, in the middle of one of Europe’s most successful Bioscience Parks, enables close collaboration with life science companies.

education at Leiden University to be some of the most fulfilling years of

expertise in an array of disciplines. They can learn about the fundamentals

their professional lives. Our MSc and PhD alumni go on to hold positions

of science in a compelling and challenging environment, learn techniques

in the front ranks of research and teaching, policy and administration

to manipulate genes and their expression to allow for an unprecedented

across the world.


working mechanisms of cells, organs and organisms. These disciplinary

At the Leiden Graduate School of Science we challenge you to achieve new

and interdisciplinary challenges provide a unique learning and research

heights of intellectual engagement, while providing you at the same time

environment for our graduate programmes.

with the support, tools and resources to aid in your success.

The Leiden Graduate School of Science aims to provide an academic and

I am proud to be able to present our Research Institutes to you and the

international environment with seminars, work shops, performances,

Master’s and PhD programmes that they are running.

the Faculty of Science

degree of control over biological processes, yielding new insights into the

exhibits as well as opportunities for dialogue, quiet study, and focused experimentation. We are committed to show that a graduate study in the

I hope you will enjoy reading about The Leiden Graduate School of

sciences is far from solitary and monastic, but rather that, at its very core,

Science and that it may inspire and help you in discovering your future.

it is social and collegial. Many of our graduates consider their years of

Graduate School

Students can expand their intellectual horizons while deepening their

Hier graag nog een titel... It gives me pleasure to introduce the Master of Science and PhD programmes that Leiden University offers through the Graduate School of Science.

In Leiden, our philosophy is that students study in a research environment.

The Graduate School has an international orientation. Not only comes an

Already at the start of their master, students become a member of the

appreciable number of master and PhD students from abroad, the same

research institute that is responsible for the education programme. Master

applies to the scientific staff and the post-doctorate fellows. English is the

students follow courses that aim at the deepening of their knowledge, and

language of the courses, the colloquia, the scientific meetings and the daily

spend an appreciable amount of time in research groups of the institutes.

conversations in the research groups.

Courses and working classes concern small groups, while the students are in one-to-one contact with a staff member during their research periods.

Those master students that perform excellently are stimulated to enroll in one of the PhD programs. The Graduate School of Science will offer them a paid position for four years to do independent research, to follow


to develop an academic attitude, to acquire knowledge and skills, to learn

advanced courses and develop personal skills, and finally defend their

how to define, analyze and solve a problem, and to train how to present

PhD thesis.

the Faculty of Science

and discuss results. The emphasis on research does prepare the student

Graduate School

The research environment stimulates the curiosity and is ideally suited

for a career in science, but not only. The potential to approach a problem in an analytical way presents a quality highly appreciated also outside the natural sciences. For those students that want to broaden their scope, the Graduate School offers the possibility to combine the research training with elements of Science Based Business, Communication, and, for Dutch students, Education to get a qualification to teach.


Prof.dr. E.J.J. Groenen Wisl etum inci tionsendigna consequ

Master of Science The Graduate School of the Faculty of Science organises a total of 12 different 2 year research oriented Master’s programmes in the following subjects: • Astronomy

• Biology

• Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences

• Chemistry

• Computer Sciences

• ICT in Business

• Industrial Ecology

• Life Science and Technology

• Mathematics

• Media Technology

• Nanoscience

• Physics

These Master’s programmes reflect the research themes in the Research

universe they are part of. The Leiden programme is particularly known

Institutes of the Faculty. Independent of the chosen specialisation each

for its emphasis on the interface between observation and theory:

student comes into contact with the latest developments in research by

interpretation, modelling, and simulation.

participating in courses, lecture series, discussion groups, and/or seminars.



performs his/her own research project. Each Master’s programme offers

Leiden houses many biological Institutes providing ample opportunities

one or more research oriented tracks in which students deepen their

for students interested in Life Science or Biodiversity. The Master’s

the Faculty of Science

knowledge even further by following additional advanced courses and

programme in Biology is based on top research in evolutionary and

seminars. A major part of the two year Master’s course is focused on the

molecular biology. The Master of Science programme offers a broad

practical work of performing a research project and writing a Master’s thesis.

range of specialisations, from molecular up to population level and from

Graduate School

For several months each student is imbedded in a research group and

fundamental to applied science. The close proximity of the Bio Science


Park and Leiden University Medical Centre, together with the availability

The Master of Astronomy course focuses on knowledge and understanding

of large invaluable collections in the Herbarium, the Hortus Botanicus,

of the origin, structure, and evolution of galaxies and stars, including the

and the Museum of Natural History ‘Naturalis’ contribute to an excellent

interstellar medium, circumstellar gas and dust, planetary systems and the

environment for biologists in Leiden.

Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences

management. The Master degree is of particular interest to students

Leiden University has a long tradition in pharmaceutical sciences. Over

who wish to pursue an international career involving both ICT and

the last 20 years however, the emphasis has shifted from a traditional


pharmacy education to research oriented training in pharmaceutical sciences. The programme focuses on understanding of drug action as

Industrial Ecology

the basis for efficacy and safety of drugs. This research orientation in

Industrial Ecology is an emerging scientific discipline in which the

the teaching programme is unique in Europe and enjoys a highly

sustainable co-evolution of economy, technology and environment is the

international profile.

core issue. Industrial Ecology aims to balance people, planet, and profit and therefore utilizes knowledge from the natural, technical and social


sciences. It is a joint programme of Leiden University, Delft University

The Leiden Institute of Chemistry is surrounded by a science park with

of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam. The programme is

high-tech industries and several other institutes. This setting facilitates

still a part of the Chemistry Master but it will become a separate Master’s

interdisciplinary research in physics, biology, pharmaceutical and medical

programme in the near future.

sciences. The Chemistry Master’s programme offers three tracks that correspond to major research themes in the Leiden Institute of Chemistry:

Life Science & Technology

Biological Chemistry, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry and Design

Life Science & Technology researches the processes in the living cell. The

and Synthesis. Another three tracks are Chemistry combined with

cell is the building block of life, the smallest unit with the characteristics

Communication, Education or Science-Based Business.

of living systems. Increased knowledge of the mechanisms of the cell can lead to a cleaner industry, better medicines, new methods for combating

The Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science at Leiden University

The Life Science & Technology Master’s programme offers several research

has a strong tradition in combining a theoretical, experimental and applied

options resulting from the collaboration of Leiden University with the

approach to the field of expertise. This reflects in the research profile of

Technical University of Delft.

the Institute and the education programme it offers.

Mathematics ICT in Business

The Mathematics Master’s programme in Leiden has a focus on both

ICT in Business aims at providing a deeper understanding of the

analysis and number theory. Analysis is centred around two main research

rapid changes in ICT and its applications for individuals, organizations

themes: 1) computational science and dynamical systems, and 2)

and companies. The specific focus is on the alignment of ICT and

probability, statistics and operations research. Number theory is part

05 Graduate School

diseases and isolating enzymes for the development of improved foodstuffs.

the Faculty of Science

Computer Sciences


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06 Graduate School

the Faculty of Science

of a bigger programme including cryptology, algebra and geometry.

and molecular physics. Besides fundamental research oriented tracks, it

The Master’s programme will be tailor made for each student according

is also possible for students to explore the specialisations of Science Based

o their background and personal interest. Students can take advantage

Business (SBB), Science Communication, or Science and Education. These

of the intensive co-operation with other national and international

tracks aim at specific career opportunities in science related professions.

research centres.

Nevertheless, a student who has a degree in any one of the tracks has a possibility to enrol in the PhD programme.

Media Technology The Media Technology Masters is a joint initiative of the Computer

•T  he Science Based Business (SBB) track combines research training with

Science Institute and the Faculty of Creative and Performing Arts.

business education. The emphasis is on science oriented activities and

Students are strongly encouraged to translate personal inspirations and

organizations. SBB students learn about management with a focus on

interests into their own manageable and compact research projects.

enterprises. Once they finished the SBB Fundamentals course, students

The programme recognises creativity as an important factor in scientific

can do an internship at a company. For students who want to enhance

innovation. Projects most often involve creating actual products (software

their understanding of how to start and grow science-based companies

or hardware) which are exhibited at conferences and exhibitions.

there is a course called Orientation on Technopreneurship.


• The Science, Communication and Society (SCS) track combines research

The Leiden Institute of Physics organises the Master of NanoScience,

training with science communication (journalism, communication via

which is a combined specialisation with the Delft University of

new media such as the internet, museology and visualization). Science

Technology. Nanoscience is an emerging research field, which is expected

communication triggers students to broaden their horizon, since science

to play a crucial role in future scientific discoveries and new technologies.

communicators must have knowledge about different science subjects.

The focus is on the ability to construct tiny objects atom by atom and School of Education (ICLON).


This education track consists of training in didactics, professional training,

Leiden Institute of Physics (LIOP) is an excellent place to study the

educational research and school training. Students who finish the

foundations of nature. According to a recent international peer review,

Education Master get a qualification to teach their main research subject

LIOP is one of the best Institutes of Physics in the World. Strong

to secondary school children.

programmes exist in condensed matter physics, surface physics, theoretical physics, quantum optics and quantum information, biological

07 Graduate School

• The Science and Education track is offered by the Leiden Graduate

the Faculty of Science

molecule by molecule.

PhD With a Master of Science degree, students can enrol in the PhD programme of the Graduate School of Science. The PhD programme combines original independent research, advanced courses on research topics, development of personal skills and teaching.


fectiveness trains students to develop skills like time management

PhD candidates are expected to spend a minimum of 80% of their

and communication.

appointment on a research project. Many of the research projects include international collaboration and travel. The results of this research are


published in international scientific journals.

As part of their training PhD candidates assist in the Institute’s teaching programme for a maximum of 20% of their appointment. Teaching may


Scientific meetings

include activities for talented high school students. PhD candidates will

PhD candidates are expected to frequently present their scientific results in

be prepared for teaching by didactic courses. Before the start of the

writing and by oral presentation at national and international conferences

appointment an individual training agreement is signed between the PhD

and workshops. Visits to these meetings also serve to expand their (inter)

candidate and their supervisor. The PhD candidate meets with his/her

national scientific network and form an important aspect of their training.

supervisor on a regular basis, discussing research, training and teaching.

Graduate School

the Faculty of Science

The program culminates in the production of a PhD thesis. The PhD thesis


is presented in book form and is based on a number of scientific papers,

A maximum of 10% of the appointment is dedicated to personal

yet presented as a coherent text. The international context of the research

development. PhD candidates follow training at three levels: professional

is explained in an introductory chapter and/or a summarizing conclusion.

courses, skills training, and personal effectiveness. Professional courses

The PhD thesis is written in English. An external referee and a promotion

train students to further deepen their scientific knowledge. Skill training

committee review the work. The PhD thesis is formally defended in front

is offered to develop personal skills, including oral presentations, intense

of a PhD defence committee. Successful defence of the thesis is awarded

English language courses and the writing of a grant proposal. Personal ef-

with the Doctor (PhD) degree.


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Photography: Peter van Evert, Marijke de Gruyter en Adt Vogel

Graduate School of Science P.O. Box 9502 2300 RA Leiden www.science.leidenuniv.nl/graduateschool

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